[whatwg] Ruby markup - Furigana Re: Presentational safety valves

Michael(tm) Smith mikes at opera.com
Thu Jan 4 04:51:14 PST 2007

Henri Sivonen <hsivonen at iki.fi>, 2007-01-04 14:38 +0200:

> On Jan 4, 2007, at 12:05, Karl Dubost wrote:
> >Or read the kanjis that are too difficult to be known when browsing.
> How does furigana map to aural rendering? Is only the annotation read  
> out loud and the base ignored?

If by "base" you mean the kanji, then their readings (in the
context of the words they're in in that particular instance) are
exactly the same as their associated furigana. The furigana are
typically there to show how the kanji show be read.

In Japanese, every kanji symbol typically has at least two distinct
readings (many have more than that). So it's a one-to-many
relationship of kanji character to possible readings. For one
kanji character in isolation (outside of the context of a word),
it doesn't really have /a/ reading. Even in combinations in words,
it can be ambiguous how a particular pair or group of kanji should
be read. So one of the common uses of furigana (outside of just
being used in texts for learners who haven't mastered reading yet)
it to show readings for kanji combinations that are otherwise
ambiguous. Or to show that a kanji combination should be read
differently from the way it would otherwise normally be read.

I hope that adds some clarity (and that I'm not misunderstanding
your question).


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